(Guest post by David Fulton. Check out his blog at sidekicksanonymous.wordpress.com)
If you’ve been reading my blogs up to now, you may have detected that my favorite chapters in the bible are mostly the practical ones. Show me where we’re going (Eph 2), how we’re getting there (John 6, John15), and now what we’re supposed to be doing presently.
In Matthew 16:18 the Lord gives the greatest prophecy in the Bible (if not “the greatest”, then maybe “most awesome” or “most epic”): “I will build My church.” And if Matthew was the only book in the Bible, most of us would still be waiting around for the Lord to go ahead and build. I mean, He said that He was going to do it, sounds like the only thing for us to do is to sit around and watch the construction, right?
Fortunately there’s 1 Corinthians 14. First Corinthians was written in response to the multitude of problems that the church in Corinth was experiencing, one of which was their desire/requirement that all speak in tongues. Instead of just telling them that they’re dumb, Paul turns his response to their tongue speaking into a lesson on building the church.
V. 5 “Greater is he who prophesies than he who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, that the church may receive building up.”
Well how does me predicting that Tim Tebow will win the Super Bowl help build the church?
To prophesy doesn’t necessarily mean to tell something of the future, it simply means to speak forth and for God, the forth-telling of God’s will (Vine’s Expository Dictionary)
But what about what the Lord said? I thought He was going to build the church.
Well, who do you think is living in you telling forth God, speaking words of building? So the Lord is building His church, but He’s not just sitting at the Right Hand of power directing a bunch of spiritual cranes and bulldozers. He’s living in/with/through all of us (Gal 2:20) building His church.
Wait, all of us?
V. 31 “For you can all prophesy one by one that all may learn and all may be encouraged”
But I don’t feel very prophesy-y today, I think I’ll give it a miss
V. 32 “And spirit of prophet are subject to prophets”
In other words, its a decision in your will to speak and prophesy. It has nothing to do with your feeling.
But what if I sinned today, surely I
Shh. Read 1 John 1 (which would have been/sort of still is our back up chapter today). There is no waiting period, no living purgatory or jail time. Confess, repent, and God is literally required to forgive you. Then the fellowship between you and Him is restored, and the prophesying One in you will want to speak again.